Monday, December 19, 2011

into the great wide open

“Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue” ~Tom Petty

Most folks assume that reckless, foolish behavior is something we grow out of – something that subsides with maturity. In many ways it is probably true. I am finding, however, a new kind of recklessness as I near the half century mark. The recklessness of youth assumes success; that our endeavors cannot fail. When we are young we are invincible. So, really, it is not reckless at all.

Real recklessness – true foolishness – fully accepts the possibility, hell, probability of failure… and acts anyway. The reckless spirit I am discovering peers over the edge, knows it is too high for survival, and jumps!

Butch Cassidy: Alright. I'll jump first.
Sundance Kid: No.
Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.
Sundance Kid: No, I said.
Butch Cassidy: What's the matter with you?
Sundance Kid: I can't swim.
Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.
Sundance Kid: Oh, shit...

This week the tribe I lead peered over the edge and jumped. We shook off the last bit of safety and stepped into the great wide open. And we jumped together. None of us are certain where we will land or even if we will survive. We only know that to stay, to stand still, is worse than the risk of the rocks below. We jump because, for all our doubt – all our questions, we believe in a “dangerous love” that calls us into a wild adventure; a call that leads us over the edge and into a new story. And we carry the old story with us…

Who we are and where we are going is the cliffhanger of our old story. It ended with a bunch of scared and tired outlaws trying to decide between the river gorge ahead and the posse at our backs. The new story finds us in mid-air, terrified and exhilarated, as we speed toward the rushing currents below. And at least one of us has never felt more alive…  

1 comment:

jon and alissa shirley said...

Mark, excited for you all. Praying you guys will be endowed w heaps of apostolic foolishness, prophetic unrest AND comfort, pastoral wisdom, evangelistic urgency, and the grace to study the heck out of Jesus. Blessings to you guys!